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The white-tailed ptarmigan molts twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
The white-tailed ptarmigan molts twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. When it molts in the fall, its new feathers are white, but when it molts again in the spring, its new feathers are brown. This allows the ptarmigan to blend into its surroundings all year round. This species also knows how to adapt to colder weather. Some of its habits include hiding in rock piles or even pockets under the snow.
Willow ptarmigan, rock ptarmigan
CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Galliformes (chicken-like birds)
FAMILY: Tetraonidae (grouse)
GENUS/SPECIES: Lagopus leucurus
Size: 11–16 in (0.3 m)
Weight: Average less than 1 lb (0.5 kg)
Original Diet: Plants
Present Diet: Plants and insects
Habitat: Alpine meadows and rocky areas at or above the tree line, from Alaska to northern Washington, Montana, and the Rocky Mountain states